Cloud-enabled IT Infrastructures: Consistent global performance, lower costs

Jane Shurtleff

rick-gsaEach month, we highlight a Global Solutions Architect (GSA) and discuss the innovative work he or she is doing with our enterprise customers. This month’s GSA spotlight is on Rick Galietta, who hails from Central New Jersey, near the Jersey Shore. Rick loves to spend quality time with his family of two college graduates and beautiful wife of 30 years.

Rick has worked in the IT industry for more than 30 years and as a GSA at Equinix for 3 ½ + years. He is currently a senior manager of an elite team of GSAs for the Americas East region. He has designed and implemented many enterprise architectures and IT solutions and, more specifically, is a resident expert on cloud computing, business continuity and disaster recovery (DR) planning. Rick’s best days at work include helping his customers prevent the loss of data or productivity in any situation.

Q: What experiences in architecting IT solutions have enabled you to help enterprises with the business challenges they face?

A: Lately, I’ve been architecting more and more hybrid cloud implementations and solutions designed to mitigate risk. I hear customers’ and prospects’ worst fears ̶ for example, how to address a repeat of 9/11, or natural disasters such as Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, or upcoming predictable events and scalability issues that could have risk implications for their businesses.

My experience in managing 10 recovery data centers and supporting more than 1,000 successful IT disaster recoveries has provided me with the real-world experience to help these companies mitigate unplanned and planned events by helping them build robust and reliable IT solutions. Cloud enablement and mainstream cloud adoption have also allowed many enterprises to take full advantage of “own the base, rent the spike” hybrid cloud architectures, in which they can leverage leasing public cloud services for peak workload times, rather than overprovisioning their IT infrastructures.

Q: What are the top challenges that you are helping customers solve today?

A: Lately, I’ve been working in a few key areas:

  • Cloud-enabling the enterprise – Many enterprises are slow to adopt public clouds because of the usual barriers to adoption, which are predictability, security and performance. Enterprises need direct experience with accessing public IaaS, PaaS and SaaS cloud services in a secure and private way and avoid the inconsistent performance and security risks of the public Internet.
  • Hybrid Clouds – Enterprises have just begun to recognize the need to selectively move workloads to different clouds, whether they are public or private. It’s becoming mainstream for enterprises to deploy multicloud strategies for redundancy, to avoid lock-in and to position applications and workloads to run on the appropriate cloud services.
  • Next-Generation WAN – In order to achieve predictable performance, with either the cloud or end-user quality of experience (QoE), enterprises are looking for ways to tune their networks. That way they can ensure they are poised to support the potential growing number of future consumer and end-user applications worldwide, in a consistent, “enterprise headquarters” way.
  • Disaster Recovery (DR) – No longer are enterprises looking at production and disaster recovery as two different things with two different personalities. The ability to exploit underutilized “DR assets” to ensure an always available infrastructure is becoming the norm.
  • Flexible IT – This gives enterprises the ability to leverage capacity on demand, with unlimited flexibility to handle unpredictable, variable workloads and still pay as they go. It also provides freedom from technology lock-in by enabling enterprises to explore other enterprise-grade solutions that offer high levels of security and control.

Q: What do you find most rewarding about working with Equinix customers?

A: I love educating customers about our robust data centers, global reach, interconnection and connectivity solutions, cloud and IT services capabilities. It’s extremely satisfying to see them come to an understanding of what we do, our vision and where we’re going. It’s so important for enterprises to deploy their IT infrastructures in order to “future proof” and position themselves for exciting, emerging trends, such as high-performance compute and connectivity, hyper-converged and fabric-based infrastructures, and the Internet of Things.

Q: You’ve been working closely with CDM Smith, a global engineering, construction and operations consulting company. What were the business problems they were trying to solve?

A: Working with the CDM Smith team, it was clear that for them to gain a competitive advantage in the industry, they needed greater global business agility. They required a next-generation, cloud-enabled IT infrastructure platform that is flexible and cost-effective and could deliver globally consistent performance.

We helped them achieve this by providing:

  • An operationally, technically and geographically scalable enterprise IT architecture
  • A flexible IT model to expand as needed and quickly provision new operations/offices
  • A platform to enhance their business agility to launch new products/services/applications
  • A cloud-enabled environment that exploits new cloud computing models for improved service delivery and DR

By doing these things, we enabled CDM Smith to:

  • Reduce latency and provide a globally consistent and greater end-user QoE
  • Free up internal resources for higher-valued, day-to-day operational activities and project work
  • Gain a competitive advantage and leapfrog its competition
  • Improve collaboration through supporting new tools/applications (i.e., Microsoft Lync, OS365, Salesforce.com)
  • Bring more solutions to market faster

Q: Describe the solution that they deployed.

A: The elements that make up the end-state solution for CDM Smith include:

Q: What were some of the measurable results that CDM Smith realized from this deployment?

A: The main driver for CDM Smith pursuing a cloud-enabled enterprise was the desire to gain the agility it needed to capitalize on new opportunities, innovate more solutions, get to market faster and get out in front of its competition. It achieved all of these goals, plus it made its employees and customers happier by delivering predictable, secure and higher-quality services faster.

The company also gained a more competitive, lower-cost network model. Its new enterprise IT infrastructure solution is expected to save CDM Smith more than $500,000 annually, compared with its previous inadequate network and enterprise infrastructure. This advantage positions CDM Smith to outperform its competition with a superior, consistent and more cost-effective end-user QoE worldwide.

Learn more about our Equinix Global Solutions Architects.